John Abraham in a still from 'Romeo Akbar Walter'.
John Abraham in a still from 'Romeo Akbar Walter'.

Friday Film Wrap: ‘Romeo Akbar Walter’ competes with ‘Shazam!’

  • No Fathers In Kashmir directed by Ashvin Kumar is a sometimes stunning, sometimes stressful and all together sobering view of a situation
  • Romeo Akbar Walter directed by Robbie Grewal is an overlong and monumentally drab movie

New Delhi: It’s an ordinary but crowded week at the movies.

Action thriller Romeo Akbar Walter directed by Robbie Grewal starring John Abraham, Mouni Roy and Jackie Shroff is an overlong and monumentally drab movie that centres on an unflappable undercover spy-protagonist scrounging around in Karachi for crumbs of preemptive information about the enemy nation's war plans, says NDTV. For a film in which the story necessarily unfolds in a shadowy, dangerous world where seeing is not necessarily believing, Romeo Akbar Walter does not offer enough variations in terms of lighting and mood to enhance the visual depth of what unfolds on the screen.

Times Now is more impressed, saying Romeo Akbar Walter might be a slow burner but once you are patiently through the first half, it turns out to be a highly engaging spy drama. The first half, in particular, is quite dawdling and takes its own time for the setup and build up. For the first hour, you might feel that nothing's really happening and many scenes may seem unnecessary, but by the end of the film, it all makes sense.

No Fathers In Kashmir directed by Ashvin Kumar starring Zara Webb, Ashvin Kumar and Kulbhushan Kharbanda is a sometimes stunning, sometimes stressful and all together sobering view of a situation that the director seasons with hope, says Scroll. The 107-minute film moves between English, Kashmiri and Urdu. The English dialogue is occasionally stilted and the music is a bit piercing at times. The cast is spot on, though, both in their appearance and their pitch.

For the Hollywood fans, American superhero film Shazam directed by David F. Sandberg starring Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer and Djimon Hounsou comes to India this week. Rolling Stone says this wacky, breezy take on the veteran DC Comics character is absolutely super. Back in 1939 when artist C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker created the character, the big guy rivaled Superman in popularity. After that, Shazam lost his luster. Seeing Levi revive the character’s manchild innocence with a bracing modern touch is the magic that makes the movie.

The most kid-friendly DC movie so far, Shazam! is thoroughly entertaining, says The Hollywood Reporter. Unfortunately, the superhero movie plot mechanics eventually kick in big time, with elaborately staged battles between Shazam and Dr. Sivana taking up much of the film's second half and becoming increasingly tiresome.

Tamil sports comedy Natpe Thunai directed by D. Parthiban Desingu starring Hiphop Tamizha and Anagha is a smartly packaged sports film, says The Hindu. The film borrows a few themes from Lagaan and Chak De! India but liberally sprinkles elements of Tamil cinema over its core.

Tamil action comedy Kuppathu Raja directed by Baba Bhaskar starring G. V. Prakash Kumar and Parthiban doesn’t offer anything new, says The Times Of India. The plot could have been developed in a more intriguing way with interesting action and suspense elements. A twist which comes towards the end is pointless in an otherwise predictable screenplay.

Telugu romantic drama Majili directed by Shiva Nirvana starring Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Akkineni has a realistic, emotional and good first half, says . However, the second half is heavy with sentiment and cinematic liberties.

Marathi crime drama Saavat starring Smita Tambe directed by Saurabh Sinha has an interesting theme, largely unexplored in Marathi films, says Pune Mirror. With a bankable actor like Tambe, it could have been a reasonably engrossing product. But a monotonous and somewhat uninvolving screenplay combine with lacklustre acting and uninspired direction by Sinha, the film is unable to reach the subject’s true potential.

Several releases this week haven’t inspired any reviews yet. These include Tamil action comedy Ganesha Meendum Santhipom, Malayalam films The Sound Story and Mera Naam Shaji, Kannada crime thriller Kavacha, Marathi movie Dhumas and Bengali film Basu Poribar.